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John Durham Set to Kick Off Major Trial, Directly Target Huge Name Behind Steele Dossier

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Tuesday, five years after the term “Steele dossier” entered the political language, a think tank analyst who contributed to research about Donald Trump and Russia will stand trial for lying to the FBI about his information sources.

Igor Danchenko is the third individual charged by Special Counsel John Durham, who was assigned to examine the origins of “Crossfire Hurricane” — the name given to the 2016 FBI investigation into former President Trump’s potential ties to Russia. It is also the first of Durham’s lawsuits to examine the dossier’s origins in detail.

Here is some background information on the case.

WHO IS DANCHENKO AND WHAT IS HE ACCUSED OF?

Danchenko, a Russian analyst, was a source for Christopher Steele, a former British spy hired by Democrats to investigate relations between Russia and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

This collection of research papers, which featured scurrilous rumors and unsubstantiated claims, became commonly known as the Steele dossier. Though the dossier did not play a role in launching the FBI’s investigation into potential collaboration between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, it was used by the Justice Department to get warrants to monitor the communications of a former campaign aide.

In 2017, as part of its efforts to corroborate dossier facts, the FBI interrogated Danchenko.

Prosecutors accuse Danchenko of deceiving FBI investigators about his information sources in order to make his own contributions appear more legitimate.

WHAT DO THE PROSECUTORS SAY?

Prosecutors assert that Danchenko lied when asked by the FBI how he received the information he provided to Steele. In particular, he allegedly denied relying on Democratic operative Charles Dolan, a public relations expert who volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Prosecutors further allege that Danchenko lied when he claimed to have received information from an anonymous phone conversation that he believed was made by former Russian-American Chamber of Commerce president Sergei Millian. They believe Danchenko understood that Millian wasn’t a source of any anonymous phone call.

More on this story via The Western Journal:

The indictment says the FBI could have better judged the veracity of the Steele dossier had it known that a Democratic operative was the source of much of its information.

WHAT DOES THE DEFENSE SAY?

Danchenko’s lawyers say the prosecution “is a case of extraordinary government overreach.” They note that Danchenko agreed to multiple voluntary FBI interviews throughout 2017. They say his answers to the FBI were all technically true. CONTINUE READING…

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